APS Past Board Member Barbara Fredrickson has been awarded the TANG Prize for Achievements in Psychology. Fredrickson, a Kenan Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is best known for her “broaden-and-build theory,” which suggests that positive emotions evolved in humans and other animals as a way of encouraging the development of beneficial traits, social bonds, and abilities.
Author of more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, Fredrickson’s research has expanded psychology’s understanding of the mind–body connection, positing that people can improve their physical and mental health by learning to replace negative thoughts with feelings of joy, gratitude, and love.
Fredrickson’s books, Positivity and Love 2.0, have been translated into more than 20 languages, and a free online course on her findings has reached students in more than 190 countries. In 2010, Fredrickson was invited to share her research with the Dalai Lama.